SF – Truman Doctrine

Since 1944, there had been a civil war between the monarchists (those who represented capitalism) and the communists. The communist intervention had started when the communist governments set up in both Albania and Yugoslavia began aiding the Greek communists despite the fact that Stalin had already recognised Greece as a country under British influence after an agreement with Churchill himself.

By 1947, Britain was suffering the repercussions of the Second World War that had a severe impact on the economy; to the extent where it owed £3000 million in debt due to its war efforts fighting against Germany, Britain’s financial position was worsened by the severe winter weather of 1946-47 which was said to be the harshest winter since 1813-14 and forced the country to ration essential items such as; food. This ultimately rendered the British unable to sustain their influence over Greece and in February 1947 warned the USA that British troops would, in result, no longer be able to maintain their position against the communists in Greece.

Truman had responded by introducing The Truman Doctrine which aimed to; “-support free people who are resisting subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures”.- this was a counter-interference against Stalin and the spread of communism it also supported any government that was resisting communism. The act also hinted that if communist forces were attempting to overthrow a democratically elected government this would result in the US’ involvement.

The Marshal Plan was introduced in 1947, by US secretary of State- George Marshal; it was introduced merely as humanitarian aid after Marshal had witnessed severe poverty and derelict within ,communist dominated, western Europe. Marshall had identified it’s biggest problem: financial instability which equally posed as an issue for the US; as economically devastated Europe would no longer be a market for US goods and export. Also with the US alleviating the financial difficulties along western Europe- it would no longer be an easy prey towards the invasion of communism and less likely to fall under it.

In agreement to the US’ financial aid, countries receiving it must agree to the condition that the US would now have access to their financial and capital affiliations, which was a catch in communist states as this meant that they would have to alter their current political system. As a result, Stalin claimed it was nothing more than an attack on the Soviet Union and it was clearly politically motivated to restrain communism and set up the Cominform in 1947 -which was a soviet organisation aimed to effectively organise and coordinate communist parties and governments across Europe. This was clearly defensive attack against the US’ intervention within western Europe aimed to protect growing communism.

In addition to this, Soviet politician Molotov stated that the US’ (‘Humanitarian aid’) was nothing more than an attempt by the US government to take advantage of western Europe by exploiting their financial instability for US interests. On the other hand, the US were willing to provide financial aid intended for struggling countries in western Europe in order for them to improve their economic statuses, however, this is contrasted by the conditions laid out by the US who agreed to support countries upon them agreeing to allow the US to have access to economic records and encourage capitalist interests from the United states of America. Also to reiterate the aims of the of the Truman Doctrine from March 1947, it was a declaration to support the oppressed against “outside pressures” implying that the US did have the ulterior motive to reduce the progression of communism throughout Europe.

 

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